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The expansion of the EU provides an opportunity to improve understanding of the way in which a state can influence outcomes for its citizens: increasing diversity leads to substantial variation in terms of policies and their implementation, and it brings challenges in terms of the number and complexity of such differences.
As the European Union grows in size and diversity, it becomes increasingly challenging to summarise the impact of state actions on the lives of citizens. One approach to this complexity is to group countries based on characteristics relevant to quality of life. This report develops a country typology focused on quality of life as a multidimensional concept.
Lithuanian legislation does not provide a clear definition of a chronic disease. Neither there are national sources of statistical information that would specifically focus on the issue of chronic diseases. According to available statistical data, a percentage of employed people having a long-standing illness or health problem in Lithuania has been steadily decreasing since 2005 (the decrease was particular pronounced in 2008 with the onset of the economic crisis in the country). This could be determined by reduced labour market integration opportunities for people with chronic diseases.
Despite life expectancy has ameliorated during the last 20 years, Hungary is the 23rd among the EU countries in this regard. In 2011, 21.5%, 1,439 thousand people of the 15-64 years old generation reported about having chronic health problems, diseases for at least six months. The economic activity indicators of people with disabilities are very poor; they are significantly underrepresented on the labour market. 185,000 out of 767,000 people with disabilities are economically active, of which 139,000 are employed, 46,000 unemployed in 2011. The main obstacle in entering the labour market for the ones with chronic diseases appears to be the lack of information on the diseases. Employers tend to use preventive measurements (systematic health checks) to avoid the employment of people with any kinds of diseases. It is not common that employers adapt working conditions in favour to the employment of people with special needs.
Chronic diseases are a complex field that is particularly difficult to define, with many particularities in terms of symptoms and their impact. Especially in the field of employment, deficiencies are being discovered with respect to the recording and the monitoring of the issue, in the legislation and the implementation of specific measures for the protection or facilitation at work of people suffering from chronic diseases. The protection of workers with chronic diseases is governed mainly by across-the-board policies that protect the health and safety of workers and, by way of exception, specific measures are taken for certain diseases. Special regulations are in force mainly in the field of occupational diseases and disabilities.
According to the Finnish National Work and Health survey, 70% of currently working Finns had no chronic disease diagnosed by doctor, 20% had chronic disease which did not interfere with work and 11% had chronic disease diagnosed by doctor interfering with work in 2012. Chronic disease diagnosed by doctor interfering with work was most common among farmers (17%). The corresponding percent among upper white-collar workers was 10%, lower white-collar workers (13%), self-employed 14% and blue-collar workers 15%. The survey showed a decreasing trend in prevalence of self-reported chronic disease. Another survey, Health 2011, showed that the prevalence of self-reported chronic diseases has reduced in the population of working age since the previous survey in 2000.
In 2009–2010, around 35% of male and 42% of female respondents in a survey carried out by the Robert Koch Institute stated that they had experienced chronic diseases. Besides statistics of this nature, little representative data is available on the working situation of people affected by such diseases. Since 2004, establishments have been obliged by law to offer company integration management for workers falling repeatedly ill or being ill for more than six weeks within one year. Data from the IW Human Resource Panel shows that over 30% of the companies surveyed had such a management in place. Other studies come to a similar figure.
This report addresses the employment opportunities for people suffering from chronic diseases in Cyprus. According to some studies, the main chronic diseases reported in Cyprus are musculoskeletal disorders, rheumatic conditions, respiratory problems and any other physical or mental disease lasting 6 months or more. As regards employment of people suffering from chronic diseases, it has been reported that the main problems causing these diseases have to do with the type of work, the amount of work and travel to and from the place of work.
In the wake of the economic and financial crisis, many European governments have cut spending on healthcare services. At the same time, unemployment, financial strain and reduced prevention have increased the need for certain healthcare services, while falling disposable income has made access to healthcare more difficult for many EU households.